Well, another big one of these posts. Something like ten books I think? Woo, comics.
Cue that one song by that lady which is always used for emotional moments and people coming home.
Rat Queens returns after a long absence... again, companies by Archie and Invader Zim... comics are weird!
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Stack Rundown, 01/05/2013
Well, another big one of these posts. Something like ten books I think? Woo, comics.
So begins Ray Fawkes' run on Justice League Dark as the co-writer to Jeff Lemire, and well... didn't really miss a beat. There was no dip in quality like some insane people were predicting, it still feels like the JLD we've gotten for the past few months. This was the beginning of the new arc, so there was a lot of set up and mystery surrounding everything like what the world where magic is outlawed is, what Tim Hunter means to it, etc etc. This issue also saw Mikel Janin back on art duties, after putting in double duty on the Annual issue, and he was a welcome return as well, although, it was a bit different due to a new colorist on the book. Jeromy Cox took the place of Ulises Arreola (last issue actually, this was the first with Janin) and the change is pretty noticeable. While I don't think Arreola works all that well on Batgirl, his stuff on JLD looked great and fit the tone with the bright vivid colors used for all the magic effects, and just a generally textured look to his colors. Cox on the other hand, while not a bad colorist at all, brought a somewhat smoother look, that sort of made everyone look like plastic. Not bad, but again, just jarring.
So, Andrea Sorrentino has left the book and... well, shit. I miss him already. Dennis Calero was fine, but there were a few panels that just made me flinch, in particular, two closeups on Andrew's face. Oh well, Sorrentino is gone and not coming back, that much is for sure. Apparently Scott Clark is doing the next issue? I'm not sure. Regardless, the Van Helsings are brought back into play this issue, but Andrew and company make pretty short work of them. On the other side of things, Mary, John and Deborah (hooray, I thought she left) find Andrew's sire, Cain, who is now also human, which sure enough, is going to bring more twists into the series. Though it may have taken a hit with Sorrentino's absence, it's still the I, Vampire I know and love.
So, the problem I have speaking on this title continues. Love reading it every month, I just have nothing to really say about it in general. Weird, I know. But there is one key thing I want to talk about in this issue. When you get the issue, you see Marcus To starts out on art, which is a surprise, given that Manapul wasn't solicited to take a break until recently, then you figure out why... because Francis Manapul did a fucking nine page spread. NINE! That shit is nuts. Insanity almost. Reading through this issue I was like "oh hey, Manapul did draw some!" because he's always listed on the cover regardless, given he writers too. Then going through those final pages, it started to click, and I immediately went to my computer, took screenshots of all the pages and put them together. Holy crap is it awesome. Bravo sir, bravo.
You know what? I'm enjoying Lobdell's Superman quite a bit so far. It's perhaps because I don't have any particular attachment to the character and more or less don't give a shit, but the premise is simple enough to follow, entertaining, and has some great art from Kenneth Rocafort. Here we got reintroduced to Lex Luthor, who has an entire prison just for him (which he built after being challenged by Superman to do so) and he's treated as such a threat, even though he's simply a man, and comes off as such a cocky asshole... pretty great, and I felt it was fitting as well. Sure, some of Lobdell's stories have been hit or miss so far in the New 52, but I don't think he deserves all the hate he gets... especially not a tumblr dedicated to hating him, which is the most fucking pitiful thing I've ever seen. But, whatever... I'm liking this take on Supes so far.
I was simply going to pick up Punk Rock Jesus for Sean Murphy's art, quite honestly. Yeah, the concept was cool and unique, but in terms of writing quality, who knew what we were going to get. But like I said, after series like Joe the Barbarian and AmVamp: Survival of the Fittest, there was no way I was passing this series up. Then six months later, and I'm still really surprised how good it was. Reading Murphy talk about the series on his various social media outlets, he's a bit critical of himself, and thought he could do things better here and there, which I get... but fuck, this was so good. The final issue had and ending you could predict just based on the name, but it was heartfelt, managed to surprise me with a few twists (Rebekah), keep some things really left up in the air (how Rebekah managed to survive), and just over all wrap up really nicely. That last page with Thomas? Early contender for favorite comic moment of 2013. Usually, I have a hard time feeling satisfied with the final issue of a story because I feel like things always tend to wrap up too quickly or neatly, but man... there was no lack of satisfaction from me with this issue. Great series all around.
So yeah, with this issue and the final issue of PRJ, doesn't seem like I'm going to be buying any Vertigo for a good long while... I assume the next time will be either Snyder or Lemire's new minis hit, but who knows when that'll be. Anyways, this issuer of American Vampire set up a lot of stuff to be excited about when the title returns in the fall. Abilena's return (and someone pretty close to her), the Gray Trader, Travis Kidd, Gus McCogan... man the series has been on hiatus for a few days, and so much has been teased, I'm kind of pissed that we have to wait so long. But, if you're going to go on a hiatus, this is how you do it, you leave the fans wanting more in a bad way, like junkies looking for their fix.
The "Death of Everyone" continues, and I can confirm, that everyone has yet to die... there's going to need to be a lot of dying in issue #100 to catch up to everyone! You know what this issue was? An episode of Dragon Ball Z, and that's pretty amazing. Just splash pages of Invincible and Dinosaurus beating the shit out of each other, and a lot of them... "A lot" meaning, every page was a splash. I wonder how much Ryan Ottley stands to make selling the original art, since no page was one of those pages where there's a couple of panels of people just talking so you can only sell it for like $150 or so... Nope, every page was just big face punching moments pretty much. All that aside, if this series is going to live up to the status quo changing event it has been made out to be, there's a lot to be done in the next issue.
The slow burn of the Top Cow shared universe may be killing me, but at least things really seem to have started to fall into place. If I was to use a Batman reference, it's safe to say that Jenny is the "hole in things," she's the thing that Jackie fucked up the most with, bringing her back, thus allowing this threat older than the Darkness to return. Meanwhile you've got Jackie's doppelgänger just fucking shit up all on his own, and Hope being all Darkness'd out as well. Man, so much is about to go down. As with every issue of this, Witchblade, and Artifacts, I just need to say... Make Sara remember already! The shit hitting the fan when she remembers her daughter is one of the comic book events of 2013 I'm REALLY looking forward to.
So, my entire thought process while reading this series went along the lines of "what do you do with this concept down the road?" Like, the young X-Men are in the future, they see how fucked it is... aaaaand? Well, this issue seems to answer this a bit, with the young X-Men deciding to stay and try and do something about how fucked everything is, instead of going back, getting mind wiped, and whatnot. In the present, Kitty Pryde will take charge of them, and now that we've gotten what is probably a trades worth of material out of the way, it seems like Bendis will actually get this shit going now. A couple of moments really stuck out for me. First, Jean asking Beast how she died, and his response being "Which time?" Now, for as casual as my knowledge of all things Marvel is, even I felt that one as a punch to the gut. Then, for another collar stretching with a "guuhll" sound of an awkward pause, Angel, the one hold out who wants to go home instead of stay, asks where his present day version of himself is or what happened to him, and being that I'm reading the late 2000s X-Force all the way up to Remender's Uncanny X-Force, I'm sitting there going "shiiiiiiit... awkward."
So, I've been told that Jonathan Hickman is a pretty close representation of a modern-day Morrison, never mind the fact that Morrison hasn't gone anywhere.... So with that, I'm all in to see what he's doing between this title and Avengers. This was the first I had ever heard of the Marvel Illuminati, and I've got to say, a group of Superheroes who run the world in secret is a pretty fucking cool idea. Lots of Black Panther, lots of alternate universe craziness... I get the Morrison comparisons. Interested to see where this one goes.